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The sheer amount of research going on right now in the field of nanotechnology is unprecedented in more ways than one. It is currently one of the few fields to show an immense amount of promise for newfangled devices that could be on the market within the next couple years. It’s also one of the few times that the entire scientific community has worked together on a single project. Everyone is getting involved with the research—Quantum theorists, chemists, mathematicians, semiconductor device manufacturers, physicists, and engineers. Of course, the idea that they’re all working together on a single project is simply untrue. Since science operates on the scientific principle, the field of nanotechnology is moving slowly but inevitably towards some unknown conclusion.
As it stands, most research is being done at colleges and universities around the world. The majority of work is being done in the United States, Germany, Japan, and China. These are the countries that have poured large sums of money towards nanotechnology research slated for the next decade.
To make things simpler, I have grouped together four different fields that contribute significantly to progress in nanotechnology. Each plays a key role in the creation of new devices and materials.
Chemistry is the most important part of nanotechnology research right now. Without a good chemistry background we would not be able to synthesize anything. Chemists are also the ones who are good at characterizing the synthesized material to investigate the structure and function of each component.
Electronics is one major goal of nanotechnology. For that, we require the knowledge of Quantum Physicists and Semiconductor specialists. They have designed some of the first ’proof of concepts’ that nanotechnology can produce functioning devices.
Materials engineers have made significant advancements in coatings and armor. The infamous ’nano-pants’ are a fairly crude example of how nanotechnology could be loosely used to enhance certain products. New methods of metal fabrication may one day yield ultra-strong armor that isn’t thicker than a calculator.
The unsung heroes of nanotechnology are the theorists and modelers who develop ways to predict how a piece of nanotechnology will function. Their careful guiding hand has led many researchers in the right direction.
We’ll cover all four of these scientific principles in the following section.